Promonique
Promonique
Home » Cover Story » SMART SOLUTIONS IN ENERGY MANAGEMENT

SMART SOLUTIONS IN ENERGY MANAGEMENT

September 27, 2021 6:41 pm

SMART SOLUTIONS IN ENERGY MANAGEMENT

Experts from the power sector and the energy management systems discussed the new developments in energy management and the evolving technologies for effective energy management.

India is prepped up to have efficient energy management systems and solutions, and we already have numerous technology solutions are already available in India. When we talk about efficient energy management for transmission, distribution and generation with distributed energy resources, the generation is closer to the point of consumption. This ultimately reduce some technical losses, along with the other losses associated with transmission and distribution too are eliminated. Although we already have smart solutions and smart devices available, we might need to look at the policy to have some additional feature available like, smart price signals that can assist us in utilising smart devices in the energy management function for efficiency. 

According to Kumud Wadhwa, Senior General Manager–PMU, National Smart Grid Mission, “Industry also should work towards interoperability in order to make some progress towards smart metering solutions, as the progress is still limited. Interoperability for smart metering can be achieved only when we have the same communication chip in all the meters, which is not something desirable in the long run. So, I think industries should come together and work out a solution that is truly interoperable, and we can get plug-inplay kind of modules for any communication technology and for any communication service provider to fit in with any smart meter and then deliver the solution in an end-to-end manner.” 

Dealing with cyber security 

It’s imperative that we follow the standards and practices through techniques like PKI, encryption and other key deployment that are already available. But that won’t suffice, as we still lack some practices or processes that can enhance the safety and security of our systems. 

Recently, one of the states wherein a lot of meters got tripped because the processes were not well established and there was some inadvertent command which led to some undesired tripping. Hence, there’s a need to define the process and know the protocols for taking action. These are present in standard business processes, which are not smart; so adaptation towards smart processes are also required before delivering smart solutions in a cyber-secured manner. Noting the vitalities of cyber security, Kumud agrees to the need to rework a little on the cyber security standards which are globally followed. She further adds, “We can get to know those standards by way of the numbers, from sources like NIST and others are already declared. Those standards are being referred in the CEA guidelines for smart metering and other such specifications as and when they are prepared. So cyber-security standards are there. 

The challenge here is, how do we implement those standards; and how do we validate if they are being followed? People do declare that these are being followed, but do we have sufficient validation systems to really check whether those standards are really followed in spirit or not? As a result, validation and testing systems must be prepared to ensure that cyber security standards are included in the solutions.

Standards and guidelines are available globally and there are multiple options to it. But the issue is when it comes to energy management that will actually reach to the consumer premise, and interacting with devices that affect the consumer’s life on a daily basis. Here, according to Hem P Thukral, Associate Vice President, EY India, “So, we need to tweak those standards and guidelines that are more general, because they add more depth to the power sector, and we need to define specific standards, applications and guidelines for energy management, focusing on consumer applications. That’s the way that we, as a country need to move forward. It’s probably a good action item for BIS as well to take into consideration.”

Automation and digitalisation enabling security system 

Explaining significance of automation and allied technologies Vineet Jain, Head – Automation Practices, WAGO India says “Field equipment is being connected directly into these automation systems and you can achieve all the data. So, you have got a lot of data which can be utilised and analysed, and take preventive actions for that. So it has also been a monitoring central location now, like in SCADA, as remotely it has been accessing this field equipment. If there is some failure or fault, the equipment can be isolated from other systems to make them work without any hurdles or interruptions, and it can be that particular system that can be easily isolated and can be maintained. Furthermore, in the case of the smart grid, if there is an equipment or cable failure, it can be routed from different areas. As a result, consumer supplies are unaffected. Management becomes quite easy in that case with automation.

Dealing with geographical challenges for efficient distribution 

Definitely typological and geographical challenges will also have a bearing. But, that’s  actually an opportunity especially where we physically can’t go, where the DISCOMs cannot go and set up their systems. “We need to have appropriate communication infrastructure, where remotely, we can manage those buildings. And, I’ll even go a step further, and say that those buildings, as I said, can operate like a micro grid”, comments Hem. So, ideally, you don’t need to connect with a grid, but there has to be a D-linkage with the utility. With this, the buildings or homes would have their own generation, local distribution, and storage facilities along with the DERs, to say. “Topological challenges present an opportunity rather than a challenge to remotely perform activities and also not operate independently from the grid,” Hem adds.

Vineet on the other hand, talks about addressing topological challenges with automation. “For remote connections, where it is not possible to lay down communication cables, it is good to put things on the cloud, IoT, and GRSM; these are the things that utilities are preferring these days. They are putting compact substations near to these buildings and collecting all the data,” he explains. It has become quite easy for the communication part for them to collect the data from these buildings and energy meters and everything they are doing. 

Smart communication systems for energy management 

India is too good in the case of IT. Now, many things are required for data analysis conversions like artificial intelligence, algorithm writing. These can be very good forms of setup. When it comes to cloud or IoT services, utilities are not at all comfortable designing these dashboards, where they can put the analysis online. So, this is what they can do. Cost-effective equipment can be manufactured by these start-ups to collect the data from the field. 

Here, Vineet is of view, that these utilities operate on a single protocol or/and tele-control protocols. He says, “These are the things which are quite good and we have got limited manufacturers. Most of this equipment is imported. Why not in India? So we have good future for this equipment manufacturing, as well as for functional IT. What we already have is very good.” 

Agreeing to Vineet’s views on dashboards using the data analytics from IoT and other smart devices, Kumud suggests that we need to figure out how we can design and develop some low-cost communication chips. We are mostly dependent on imports when it comes to these. So, whether there can be a start-up or some initiative taken to have these communication chips, those communication chips can be based on 5G, radio frequency, or PLC, because PLC is also a very valid option for Indian systems. 

“Recently, one of our pilots was struggling because the power line communication chip being imported from Israel was not available at the right price. That was a hurdle for him to move ahead, so maybe the start-ups can look into those areas as well. Also, we need look at designing a communication chip which is very costeffective and deliver desired performance when there are new concentrations of latency requirements for various solutions,” suggests Kumud. 

As per Hem’s views, “AI and ML portions of the value chain are where I think startups can come up and create/ generate algorithms and solutions that can do the prediction with the least amount of error. I think that’s where the goal is if I if I say so. And that led to a big impact on the sector.” 

The shortage of semiconductors has an impact on energy management solutions 

Hem terms it as a pertinent challenge. When we talk to industry players, we also face similar issues. So, having chipsets being developed in India is a very novel idea, as we can get the silicon and possibly convert them into products and solutions. Perhaps looking at the bigger Smart City piece, although that’s not the scope of this topic, but if we look we look at it, especially for India, where billions of sensors will be deployed, it will be worthwhile to have or consider having a semiconductor fabrication lab in India. 

For the past eight to ten years, we’ve been hearing about big companies and industries trying to do this and trying to enter into this domain. But having a fab lab in India has also brought benefits from a security perspective. The chips and the silicon is prepared or manufactured in India, so there are no bugs but its a long shot today. It’s not an easy thing. People have tried and have failed, but looking at an institution or governmental level, I think that’s definitely one thing that can be taken up.

The final word 

We touched upon how this sector is reforming from a smart meter to smart way to smart solution perspective. And that we need to convert these technologies into products or solutions. We further highlighted how we can package solutions to get a better benefit and how the consumers will identify what they need or not. Therefore, monitoring only won’t suffice. We need to extract value from the data, and if you look at smart meters today, most of the disciplines are doing that or they’re doing remote collection of the data. They’re just sending commands, but the true value will be realised once we extract value from the data, and that’s where AI, ML and other novel technologies will come in.

Cookie Consent

We use cookies to personalize your experience. By continuing to visit this website you agree to our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Tags: Cover Story
Power Talk
Webinar
Webinar
Android App
Android App
EPR eMagazine April 2024
EPR eMagazine April 2024
EPR eMagazine April 2024

Events

Middle East Energy Dubai
Middle East Energy Dubai
RenewX India
RenewX India
International Geotechnical Innovation Conference
International Geotechnical Innovation Conference
POWERGEN India
POWERGEN India
EL Asia
EL Asia
Global Energy Digitalisation Conclave
Global Energy Digitalisation Conclave
World battery and energy storage industry expo
World battery and energy storage industry expo
Green Hydrogen Summit
Green Hydrogen Summit
Windergy
Windergy

Our Sponsors

Rayzon Solar Pvt Ltd
Rayzon Solar Pvt Ltd
Doble Engineering
Doble Engineering
Allied Power Solutions
Allied Power Solutions
Nirmal
Nirmal
KEI Industries Limited
KEI Industries Limited
Maco Corporation India Pvt Ltd
Maco Corporation India Pvt Ltd
Meco Instruments Pvt Ltd
Meco Instruments Pvt Ltd
Icon Solar-En Power
Icon Solar-En Power
Novasys
Novasys
Testo India
Testo India
Mecc-Alte India
Mecc-Alte India
Newtech Switchgear
Newtech Switchgear
Triveni Turbine ltd
Triveni Turbine ltd
Aeron Composite Pvt Ltd
Aeron Composite Pvt Ltd
Winsun
Winsun
A-1 ELECTRICALS
A-1 ELECTRICALS
Allied Moulded Enclosure Products
Allied Moulded Enclosure Products
ANUSHREE ELECTRICAL ENGINEERS
ANUSHREE ELECTRICAL ENGINEERS
Ashone Technologies
Ashone Technologies
Citroen Switchgears Pvt. Ltd.
Citroen Switchgears Pvt. Ltd.
Electrotherm
Electrotherm
KVTEK Power Systems
KVTEK Power Systems
MENNEKES Electric India
MENNEKES Electric India
Om Technical Solutions
Om Technical Solutions
PRAMA HIKVISION INDIA
PRAMA HIKVISION INDIA
Motwane Manufacturing
Motwane Manufacturing